Elgato Stream Deck XL Review

In the wake of the Elgato Stream Deck, stream controllers have become a popular addition to one’s setup. They allow streamers to seamlessly manage their shows in ways that aren’t as efficient as one could manage with hot keys or a mouse.

Despite the initial sticker shock for what amounts to “just” 15 buttons at face value, my Stream Deck has proven its worth many times over. From scene changes, to managing voice changers, to complex event sequences triggered by a single button, my shows wouldn’t be the same without it.

Though the standard set of 15 buttons should suffice for most, I’ve long since run out of space due to my production-heavy shows. Folders allow me to squeeze in a few more actions, but most activities require me to cycle between menus with extra presses, negating some of the device’s convenience. For streamers like me who are in need of even more control, the Stream Deck XL has us covered.

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Show Your Discord Chat Within Your Twitch Stream By Using Discord StreamKit

Among Us is the hot game right now, particularly in the world of Twitch. Most of its best parts involve players debating whodunnit. As a viewer, it can be difficult to know who is talking, since you usually only see the streamer.

While browsing Pokimane‘s stream, I noticed that she had a particular solution to this problem. How did she get her Discord voice chat bubbles to appear on screen? Follow this guide and you can have this feature on your stream too!

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Merge the Physical and Digital Worlds of Your Twitch or YouTube Streams Through Creative Uses of Green Screen Technology

Green screens work incredibly well for the purposes of background removal. However, the application of green screen technology doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Inspired by MissMollyMakes, I incorporated green screen technology into my physical background. Here’s how you can do something similar!

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Is Loupdeck Live an Elgato Stream Deck Killer?

Elgato gave streamers a new level of control with the Stream Deck. It’s my favourite piece of streaming hardware, as it allows me to switch scenes, manage audio, trigger replays, and even stage a concert with the push of a button. I love the device and the Stream Deck platform so much that I just doubled down and bought a Stream Deck XL for access to even more buttons.

Many alternatives have risen in its wake, though they’re almost entirely software solutions that use your PC or phone. The Stream Deck still sets itself apart by being a physical device with tangible buttons that can be pressed without having to take your eyes off the camera.

Enter the Loupedeck Live. Best known for making tactile control devices for content creation, they’re taking their expertise to the world of streaming.

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I applied for a partnership with Elgato and got rejected. Here’s why that’s okay.

A few days ago, Elgato opened up applications to its streamer partnership program. Though I’m generally weary of any sort of partnership or sponsorship programs aimed at small streamers for how slanted they are in favour of the brand, I decided to give this one a shot. I did so because I am a fan of the brand’s products, applying alone didn’t appear to lock me into anything overly-exploitive, and whatever permissions I gave them to my channels could be easily revoked if they rejected me.

Well, they did reject me. That’s okay. There’s a silver lining to my application that you may want to take advantage of while the opportunity is still open.

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Some Twitch Stats to Put Your Streaming Ambitions Into Perspective

So you want to be the next big streamer. You saw Ninja make millions by playing video games on Twitch and want to do the same. Totally understandable.

How feasible is it to actually turn your gaming hobby into a streaming career? Though I am far from a Twitch expert – particularly when it comes to growth – there are tidbits of knowledge I’ve picked up from my personal experience, from streaming gurus, and from publicly available data on sights like Twitch Tracker and Sully Gnome.

In this post, let’s focus on the hard data. When I think about the realities of growing my channel on Twitch, these particular factoids go a long way to put things into perspective for me. Hope they do the same for you on your journey!

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The Latest Trend on Twitch? A Bigger and Better View of You

“Kelsey’s view of herself is…very large.”

I made this observation as my wife was watching KelseyDangerous stream Animal Crossing: New Horizons (she’s a great streamer by the way and you should check out her show!). Unlike the thumbnail-sized streamer views I’ve seen in the past when the streamer has overlaid themselves over-top of their gameplay, Kelsey’s view was a large square that covered up a sizable portion of the screen. It was also cropped in such a way where you could see more than just her face. In this view, you could everything from the torso up.

As I’ve continued to explore Twitch in recent months, it’s become apparent to me that Kelsey’s overlay strategy is not a one-off. Streamers of all sorts are making the view of themselves larger, even if that means you see less of the gameplay underneath.

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Create a Twitch or YouTube Stream Worth Watching By Offering Meaningful Value

Why should anyone watch your stream?

I know I might come off as a jerk for asking, but it’s a serious question all streamers with ambitions of growing have to answer. Myself included. Streaming is a highly-crowded, hyper-competitive, and top-heavy space where zero viewers is the norm for most.

Furthermore, there are inherent challenges that come with consuming live streaming content versus anything else online. Asking someone to carve out hours of their day to go to your channel and engage with you through the chat is way harder to do than to watch a much shorter YouTube video or view a social media posts that get propagated in other people’s feeds. All of this makes live streaming as a medium one of the most difficult forms of online content to consume.

If you want potential viewers to make that effort, you have to provide them with value equal to or exceeding the effort they put into watching you. Let’s talk about our value as live streamers and what we can do to make our streams more valuable.

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The Next Round of Streaming PC Upgrades

“But Jett, didn’t you literally just get a new PC and gaming chair?”

Yes. So far, I’m loving both! But there’s always work to be done. Here are a few more items on my list to pick up!

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Twitch and the Danger of Quantifying One’s Value

Almost every aspect of the Twitch experience is driven by quantifiable and publicly-facing values. We know how many people are watching any channel at any given time. We know follower counts. We know which streamers are Twitch Partners because of the checkmark beside their names. If you dig just a bit deeper, you can find pretty much every performance metric for any channel, right down to the breakdown of how many paid subs it receives each month.

The Twitch and broader live streaming community at-large embrace these types of quantifiable systems. Streamers flash on-screen notifications every time someone follows or subscribes to their channel. Viewers flaunt their streamer-exclusive emotes on other channels. Even outside of Twitch, many streamers proudly declare that they are Twitch Affiliates or Twitch Partners in their social media bios.

All of this is in service of creating an ecosystem where viewers and streamers become emotionally and financially invested in the platform. In large part, it works as Amazon intended. They make money hand-over-fist by displaying ads and by taking their cut of Bits and Subs. Meanwhile, many of its audience “bleed purple” to the point where most chose to stay on Twitch even when its top creator left for Mixer.

These systems can tell us a lot about the performance of a channel. However, there’s a ton of danger when we apply these channel-specific values to ourselves. It creates a lot of friction on Twitch in very overt and subversive ways that can be incredibly draining on one’s mental health.

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